New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. is in Las Vegas for NBA Summer League, and he is making the most of his visit this summer.
Per NBA Sources, the third year guard has been working out with future Hall of Famer Chris Paul in Vegas. Smith has been picking the veteran’s brain as they both look to improve their games this off-season.
If you are unfamiliar with Smith and Paul, they both grow up in the state of North Carolina. Paul hails from Winston Salem, N.C, and Smith is from Fayetteville, which is about two hours away from each other.
Sources have indicated that Paul has been helping Smith become a better leader and Paul reportedly is staying in the same Vegas Hotel as the Knicks.
Earlier this summer, Rockets GM Daryl Morey denied that Chris Paul was on the trade block and was offered to the Knicks, who decline the offer.
Per Marc Berman of the New York Post, Smith said on Saturday that he had been working to change to his shot mechanics with Knicks assistant Keith Smart. According to Smith, “taking my game to the next level.’’
“Summer time is the perfect time if you want to change your shot, so that’s what we’ve been doing from the start of it,’’ Smith said. “So now it’s coming around. I’m feeling good, I’m confident with it. It’s a consistent motion.”
He would continue:
“It’s a big difference,’’ Smith said after dropping in at summer league. “I can’t give it a percent. [But] I can feel it. Everybody can see it from my pops and my friends. So adding that into my game, getting consistent with it, is going to open up the floor not only for me, but everybody else and make my reads a lot easier. So it’s major for me.’’
Smith and the Knicks are looking to make the playoff next season for the first time since the 2012-2013 season under Mike Woodson. The Knicks would be eliminated by the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals that season.